Shops expected to reopen from June 15, says prime minister
- Credit: PA
Prime minister Boris Johnson has set out his plans for the staged reopening of shops in England, with markets potentially reopening in a week’s time and other shops from the middle of June.
At his Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said outsoor markets and car showrooms could reopen from next Monday if they can meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.
And he said that, from June 15, all other “non-essential retail” will be allowed to reopen, depending on progress and if businesses are “Covid secure”.
Mr Johnson said: “We will set out our formal assessment of the five tests that we set for adjusting the lockdown later this week as part of the three-weekly review we are legally required to undertake by Thursday.
“But because of the progress we are making I can, with confidence, put the British people on notice of the changes we intend to introduce as we move to step two.”
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From June 1, outdoor markets and car showrooms will be allowed to open, provided they can do so safely.
Mr Johnson said: “We know that the transmission of the virus is lower outdoors and that it is easier to follow Covid secure guidelines in open spaces.”
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From June 15, “all other non-essential retail” will be allowed to reopen, contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus and if the businesses are “covid secure”.
Mr Johnson said new guidance was being published for the retail sector “detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards”.
“Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen,” he said.
“This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.”
Boris Johnson said the authorities would “have the powers we need to enforce compliance where that is required”.
“I want people to be confident that they can shop safely provided they follow the social distancing rules for all premises,” he added.
Professor Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England’s medical director, said the R number, showing the reproduction of the virus, is estimated to be between 0.7 and 1.
The government has stressed the importance of that figure remaining below 1.